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Employers Beware: 5 Resume Red Flags

Danial
by Danial
Oct 15, 2018 at 6:33 AM

The hiring process is never easy. Every resume needs to be reviewed with care. Here are five resume red flags that employers should be aware of before hiring potential candidates.

1. Lack of Attention to Detail

A candidate’s attention to detail plays an important role. They cannot afford to be careless in writing their resumes. Some examples are cut-and-paste errors, missing words in sentences, and mistakes in dates of employment. None of these errors is earth-shattering, but they give the impression of an overall unprofessional appearance during your resume review.


2. Resumes Written in Third Person

Resumes should never be written in third person as they do not have the dynamic impact of a resume written in first-person. For example: John Doe is an excellent marketer and never went over budget.

The resume statement does not use action verbs and is not a strong statement of John’s abilities. A stronger, more relevant resume statement would start with a strong action verb. For example: Managed numerous large and small events, always staying within budget.
 

3. Failure to Follow Instructions

An application is deemed invalid if the applicant fails to follow the directions given. Many employers who ask for a salary history, automatically exclude any candidate who doesn’t follow the applicant instructions in the job posting.

Sometimes the applicant thinks that resume review is a game of chance and if they send enough resumes, eventually one will yield a job interview. Prove them wrong if they fail to follow your instructions. Employers have the right to specify what they need from an applicant.
 

4. Resumes Written in an Inappropriate Format

There is a format and style to resumes and curriculum vitae (CVs) that is different from other styles of writing. Applicants must use effective formats and the common language in their field to indicate their knowledge in a way that is immediately recognizable as a resume.
 

5. Unusual History of Employment

Job hopping does not carry the stigma that it did back then. Some employees with short-term employment at several jobs may have had legitimate bad luck in choosing employers who downsize or go out of business. Some may also still be searching for their best career as evidenced by multiple shifts in careers and employment.

When employers consider a senior employee, multiple careers and job shifts need an explanation for each. Employers need to comfortably question potential employees about any details in their application materials that raise red flags. Probe and listen carefully to the candidate’s answers.


These are the five resume red flags that employers should know when they review job applications. They indicate the habits and characteristics of the individual applying for your job. Are you ready to start hiring? Head over to our Job Post Creator to get at least 30 applicants to your job ad.